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Recent News

April 11, 2024
Saxophonist Chris Speed, trumpeter Jun Iida, and bassist Todd Sickafoose headline IMPFEST 2024, the annual festival co-hosted by the School of Music and the student-run Improvised Music Project (IMP).  Admission to the three-day festival is free, thanks to generous support from Seattle's Raynier Foundation. The festival, which pairs up-and-coming musicians with seasoned professionals of international renown, is the IMP’s signature annual event. This year, Speed and Sickafoose perform their... Read more
Melia Watras: Play/Write album cover
March 25, 2024
LA Opus, an online publication devoted to classical music and live arts, has reviewed Play/Write, a new release by violist/composer Melia Watras: Composer and violist extraordinaire Melia Watras seems limitless in her creativity, constantly generating new and unique material. Her new CD album, PLAY/WRITE, showcases her many facets as both a writer and performer of new music. Always innovative, the Seattle-based Watras utilizes her partnerships with writers, poets and other... Read more
Hannah Chou headshot
March 6, 2024
School of Music students and alumni report recent academic appointments, performances, career milestones and other notable achievements. Daren Weissfisch (’21 MM, DMA Orchestral Conducting), student of David Alexander Rahbee, is conducting all four productions this year at the Tacoma Opera. He is a finalist for the music director position at both the Bainbridge Symphony Orchestra and the Lake Union Civic Orchestra. Ryan Farris (’18 MM, Cello, DMA,... Read more
Kai en concerto winner
March 6, 2024
The winners of three divisional School of Music concerto competitions— Kai-En Cheng, violin, Ella Kalinichenko, piano, and Rachel Reyes, flute—perform their winning concerto excerpts with the UW Symphony on April 26. In addition, the orchestra’s April 26 program includes the work of another outstanding student winner: UW composition student Yonatan Ron, a master's student who studies with Huck Hodge and Yigit Kolat, who won the UW’s recent composition competition with his piece "What Stood... Read more
David Rahbee
March 6, 2024
A new faculty appointment for David Alexander Rahbee, the longtime head of orchestral activities and chair of the orchestral conducting program at the School of Music, changes his title from senior artist-in-residence to associate professor of music, an appointment with tenure effective in Fall 2024. A native of Boston, Rahbee studied conducting at the New England Conservatory, Université de Montréal, Universität für Musik und Darstellende Kunst in Vienna, and at the Pierre Monteux School. A... Read more
Melia Watras (Photo: Michelle Smith Lewis)
February 29, 2024
Honors, accolades, research highlights, and other news from the School of Music faculty. Joël-François Durand, CompositionThe School of Music acting director and professor of Composition reports the recent release of Geister, a two-CD collection of his works recorded in 2021 and 2022 and released on the Kairos contemporary music label. Including compositions written over the last two... Read more
Bassoonist Paul Rafanelli (Photo: Steve Korn).
February 23, 2024
When School of Music faculty bassoonist Paul Rafanelli performs Mozart’s Bassoon Concerto in B-flat major with the UW Symphony at Meany Hall on March 8, 2024, it will be with a sense of déjà vu—the Seattle Symphony bassoonist and UW artist-in-residence performed the same piece in the same location with the UW orchestra in March 1984—almost exactly 40 years ago—while a student at the UW. Leading up to his spotlight performance, the head of the UW bassoon studio graciously agreed to answer... Read more
Music Building
February 23, 2024
Phase One upgrades complete; Music Building improvements to occur in Phase Two A major fundraising initiative to remodel and upgrade critical spaces in the Music and Art Buildings at the University of Washington has made steady progress over the past year, with phase one improvements to the School of Art + Art History + Design now complete and an important fundraising milestone for the School of Music recently reached with gifts to the campaign now totaling more than $1.5 million. Critical... Read more
Wind Ensemble Korea Tour Group 2024 (Mark Stone, UW Photography)
February 15, 2024
While many of the School of Music’s students and faculty will welcome a short break at the end of Winter Quarter, members of the UW Wind Ensemble and director Timothy Salzman will be on the move, traveling, rehearsing, and performing in South Korea. The ensemble heads to South Korea March 16-22 for performances at Woosong University in Daejeon, South Korea. They will be accompanied by voice DMA student Eun Ju Vivianna Oh, flute professor Donna Shin, and DMA pianist Mia HyeYeon Kim, all of whom... Read more
Joël-François Durand
February 14, 2024
University of Washington Professor Joël-François Durand will serve as acting director of the School of Music through June 2025, a final one-year extension of his initial appointments to the position.  The longtime Composition professor was named interim director of the School of Music in the wake of the unexpected death in February 2022 of former director JoAnn Taricani, whose five-year term would have ended on June 30, 2025. A member of the School of Music Composition faculty since 1991,... Read more